Get to know a Central IL mama: MEET Erica!

Today we're excited to introduce you to Erica, a local mom to three. Thanks for sharing a bit about your life with us, Erica!

Welcome to the BUSHBABY family!
Where were you born? Raised here in Peoria?

I was born in Peoria IL at OSF, and raised in Pekin through high school. My parents were settled in Pekin along with extended family in the area.

University years?

I attended Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa from 1996-2001 pursuing my Masters degree in physical therapy. I always knew I wanted to be a part of the medical community but after observing a physical therapist in high school I knew it was what I was meant to do. I started working at Easter Seals after graduation and have been there ever since.

Tell us about meeting your hubby + settling here?

I met my husband, Matt, in high school way back in 1995. He was a senior and I was a junior. After high school he joined the Navy for 4 years while I went to college in Iowa. We were married on June 1, 2001, and decided to settle in Central Illinois since I found my dream job at Easter Seals and both of our families resided in the area.

Introduce us to your children?

We have 3 wonderful kiddos; Isaac, Evan, and Annie. Isaac is 10 years old and is finishing up 4th grade right now and Evan is 7 years old finishing up first grade. Both Isaac and Evan love the outdoors but also have some favorite games on their IPAD they enjoy like most kids. I am thankful they would put down their tablets in a second to go on a hike with their Uncle Justin who is passionate about what he calls Adventurecizin’. Annie is 2 years old full of girliness but it is obvious she has 2 older brothers. She loves her dresses and bows but tries to keep up with her big brothers whenever she can.

What's the best part of being their mom?

There are so many great answers to this question but I have to say watching them grow is the best part. It’s been such an adventure from their first day in my arms, first steps, first day of school, first time they caught a fish, and so on. The adventure will only continue! As their mom, I get to love on them more than anyone else (besides daddy…he gets to too) and be a part of their lives as long as we are on this earth.

An exciting summer plans?

Our summer plans will definitely include a lot of playtime outside and swimming. My kids don’t like to sit at home much and keep us on our toes. We will be vacationing up north in Bemidji, Minnesota spending time in my aunt and uncle’s cabin on Big Turtle Lake. Our time will be filled with kayaking, fishing, swimming, and spending time with family. I also love catching the sunset at night and snapping some pictures. Bemidji is a special place for my family and extended family. It started with my great grandfather many years ago and many family vacations have been spent there since.

Favorite spot in Peoria to spend with your family that you would suggest for other active families?

My kids love the outdoors but one of their favorite spots in Peoria is definitely Bicycle Safety Town. They love to bring their bikes and ride the “streets.” It has been a great place to meet up with other moms and their kiddos for play dates over the years.

What are must-have pieces that you have for your kiddos right now?

My kids' must-have pieces for summer are definitely Keens! My boys started wearing Newport H2 Keen shoes when they were 2 years of age and have been their primary summer shoe since then. They are perfect for playing outdoors, hiking, and running around town. Annie received her first pair of Merrell Hydro sandals this week and loves them.

Since you’ve been in Bush Baby, what would be something you would want others to look at next time they are in?

I would definitely take a look at the section of Keen shoes for the kids and the Conservation section of clothing and shoes. We have brought clothing and shoes in for it but have also made purchases, too. I am also a big fan of the Tea Collection clothing as well for my daughter.

Well, thank you so much, Erica for sharing with us! It was a treat to hear about your family + what is important to you as a mom. You are a joy!